A keen amateur metal detectorist is hoping to shed some light on a mysterious gold pennant that he uncovered in a field in Needingworth.

The pennant, which measures about an inch around, is inscribed with the words ‘Alice Sutton, 13 January 1788’ and turned up in a farmer’s field off the Needingworth bypass earlier this month.

The discovery was made by Ryan Lynam, of Chelmer Close, St Ives, who took up metal detecting two years ago, with the fields around Bluntisham and Needingworth his favoured haunts.

Mr Lynam said he had uncovered about 30 Roman coins during the course of his searches, and even a silver Roman ring, but said that the pennant was among his most unusual finds.

He said: “When I picked it up, I thought it was a bit of foil and I was about to throw it but then I spotted it was engraved.

“My friends and family have found it really interesting, every time the kids come around they like to see it and hold it.”

The father-of-two said he usually takes his finds to the Norris Museum, in St Ives, but is keen to hear from anyone who may be able to tell him more about the pennant or any relatives of Alice Sutton.

“Because it was found on a farm, I think she was probably a farm worker but I haven’t been able to find any trace of her so far,” said Mr Lynam.

Can you help shed light on the mystery? Call 01480 443451 or e-mail daniel.mansfield@archant.co.uk